Like many people, I enjoy writing. I've dreamed of getting a book published. I know my own writing well enough to know that it is not the kind of literary prose that would ever win major awards, but to see my book in print, that's something I've always quietly wanted. But, like many people, I got a "real job" instead and shuffled my dreams of being published to the back. I still wrote, sure, but not with any level of consistency.
Flash forward to my 25th birthday: I was in the midst of a quarter life crisis, seeing friends on social media with great jobs, buying houses, getting married. I just felt stuck and unfulfilled. So, as a birthday present to myself, I bought a book on entrepreneurship and bought a web domain, this web domain. I tore through that first book and quickly started reading other books and listening to podcasts about women in business, entrepreneurship, and creative side hustles. True, I had no ambition to become a freelance photographer or to launch a business making Etsy-worthy letter press, but much of the advice these women gave about developing a business resonated with me. So, I'm trying to take an entrepreneurial approach to being a writer.
Before there are shouts of outrage about how writing should be about the craft, about the story and not about the money, let me explain. My biggest problem with my writing in the past is that it has always been a hobby and I have never held myself accountable for what I did or didn't produce. The light bulb finally went off and I realized that if I want to be a professional, published writer, then I need to treat my writing as a job. This isn't revolutionary advice by any means. Open any book on the craft of writing and the first thing they will recommend is that you need to put your ass in a chair and write, no two ways about it. If you aren't writing, you will never finish a novel. So, it isn't the advice that was revolutionary, rather it was that these books and podcasts said, "You are enough. You can start."
I think writers, being an introspective bunch, are exceptionally prone to imposter syndrome. We can't be real writers if we aren't published, if we haven't been paid for our work, if we haven't won awards, and so on. Setting up a schedule, dedicating time to writing and the study of craft, finding time to connect with other writers and to start to build a community, these felt like things that I needed permission to do. What delusions of grandeur must I be entertaining to have decided that I could treat my scribblings like they were a career, like they were a business to be cultivated? But that is how we start, how we begin to build a professional career.
This blog is about studying craft, building a community, and giving myself permission to start. There will be lots of writing about craft, about writers resources, about figuring out my writing process, but there will also be writing about what entrepreneurs can teach writers about how to carve out time for your own work and how to find the grit to keep going. I hope that you will find this useful in building your own writing career. Let's get started.